Today on WJON's Voices for Veterans segment I talked with St. Cloud V.A. Director Brent Thelen, St. Cloud V.A. Chief of Staff Scott Bartley, Suicide Prevention Coordinator Jinae Plumhoff from the St. Cloud V.A. and St. Cloud V.A. Public Affairs Officer Barry Venable.  Plumhoff talked about the increased need for suicide prevention services for veterans during the Covid-19 pandemic.  She says the risk for suicide becomes higher due to isolation.  Plumhoff says veterans, family members of veterans and friends should look for warning signs for depression, talk of death or saying goodbye to people close to them.


Brent Thelen discussed the plan to return to 10% of normal for in-person options for veterans soon at the St. Cloud V.A.  No timeline has been specifically identified but Bartley says the move to 10% is coming soon.  Fargo's V.A. has been in 10% and is moving to 25% of normal in-person treatment soon.

Thelen says the move to 10% in-person treatment doesn't effect emergency in-person treatments or Tele-Health options for veterans.

Thelen says the St. Cloud V.A. continues to help the Minneapolis V.A. with patient needs until June 24 and says he has many great stories how the St. Cloud V.A. was able to assist during this time of crisis.

WJON's Voices for Veterans segment airs the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 8:15-8:30 a.m.

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